The Answer To Your Difficulties Could Lie Inside Your Babies Mouth…
Having trouble breastfeeding?
The answer to your difficulties could lie inside your babies mouth…
Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition in which the thin piece of skin under the baby's tongue (the lingual frenulum) is abnormally short and may restrict the movement of the tongue. Tongue-tie occurs in about 4-11 per cent of babies and is a condition that can run in families. It is more commonly found in boys.
Some babies with tongue-tie are able to attach to the breast and suck well. However, many have breastfeeding problems, such as nipple damage, poor milk transfer and low weight gains in the baby, and possibly blocked ducts or mastitis due to ineffective milk removal.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association states that a baby needs to be able to have good tongue function to be able to remove milk from the breast well. If the tongue is anchored to the floor of the mouth due to a tongue -tie, the baby cannot do this as well. The baby may not be able to take in a full mouthful of breast tissue. This can result in ‘nipple-feeding’ because the nipple is not drawn far enough back in the baby’s mouth and constantly rubs against the baby’s hard palate as he feeds. As a result, the mother is likely to suffer nipple trauma.
If you see any of the following signs it could be a signal to go and have a consultation with a lactation consultant, GP or paediatrician:
- nipple pain and damage
- the nipple looks flattened after breastfeeding
- you can see a compression/stripe mark on the nipple at the end of a breastfeed
- the baby fails to gain weight
Seeking advice or getting another opinion will help to alleviate issues. Our director had tongue tie with her second and it was four months into the feeding journey when it was picked up. This was after the babies weight plummeted to the 5th percentile and constant pain, screaming etc accompanied every feed.